The American Dream mall has set a reopening date.
The East Rutherford, N.J., mega retail and entertainment complex — shuttered for months amid the coronavirus pandemic — is opening back up its doors to the public on the first of October. The move comes a week after Gov. Phil Murphy announced that indoor amusement centers could reopen as soon as Sept. 1.
Next month, the property’s Nickelodeon Universe, DreamWorks Water Park, Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf and NHL-sized The Rink will resume business. What’s more, for the first time at the mall, retailers including fast-fashion giants H&M and Zara, as well as department store Primark, will welcome in new customers.
“We know that our community has been waiting to return, but it was important to us that we took the proper time and precautions needed to welcome guests back in the safest possible manner,” co-CEO Mark Ghermezian said in a statement. “The last several months have been difficult for everyone, and even though we are still adjusting to the new normal, we are confident that we can provide guests a safer environment to make dreams come true for everyone, everywhere, as well as create much needed job opportunities in New Jersey.”
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The complex’s Big Snow indoor skiing and snowboarding park opened on Tuesday with government-recommended health and safety protocols put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently, face masks are required for entry into the property, which has reduced capacities for each of its attractions, as well as increased sanitizing and disinfecting frequency in common areas. Hand sanitizer stations and hygiene reminders have been installed inside the mall, and guests are advised to socially distance themselves, with the aid of plexiglass barriers, ground markings, touchless options and more.
Announcements about additional openings and new experiences are expected to be released at a later date.
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak swept the United States, the American Dream had encountered a combination of setbacks, including financial challenges and litigation, that paused its opening to the public. The $5 billion mall — which had been two decades in the making — was scheduled for a grand opening in March although the debuts of various stores were staggered across several weeks or months. (Early this year, a spokesperson confirmed to FN that nearly 90% of its units had been leased.)